Working on a dock is a physically demanding and inherently dangerous form of employment. A dock worker, also called a longshoreman or stevedore, is often exposed to a substantial risk of harm daily. For example, dock workers are often in close contact with toxic chemicals as well as hazardous machinery.
If you or a loved one were injured while working on the docks, it is imperative you seek help from a Pascagoula dock worker injury lawyer. Seeking the help of a skilled maritime injury attorney could significantly improve your chances of obtaining all the compensation you deserve. As a dock worker, you may qualify for compensation such as medical treatment and disability benefits under a federal law called the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
There are two federal laws that potentially come into play should a maritime employee be injured in a workplace accident, including the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.
The Jones Act applies to any seaman who is hurt in the course of their employment. The term “seaman” refers to anyone who performs a significant amount of work on board a navigable vessel.
The second federal law, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), specifically applies to dock workers and other individuals who are involved in shoreline operations. The LHWCA provides both medical and disability benefits as well as rehabilitation services and compensation for lost wages to those covered by the statute.
However, LHWCA benefits are only available to injured employees who meet the Status Test and the Situs test.
One must be engaged in maritime employment to be eligible for benefits under the LHWCA. Dock workers, as well as ship builders and ship mechanics, are almost always eligible for LHWCA benefits. Specifically excluded are aquaculture workers, builders of small (under 60 feet) recreational vessels, and vessel crew members (who are covered by the Jones Act).
The second requirement for LHWCA eligibility concerns the location where an injured employee works. Only maritime workers who work on, near, or adjacent to navigable waters are covered.
An experienced Pascagoula dock worker injury lawyer could determine whether a dock worker is eligible to recover compensation under LHWCA.
Following an accident on the dock, an injured employee should notify their employer of their injuries and how the accident occurred. The date of notification is used to determine when benefits start being paid. A knowledgeable Pascagoula dock worker injury attorney can potentially help an injured employee give notice of their injury in a timely manner.
An injured dock worker whose initial claim for LHWCA benefits is denied can appeal that decision to the United States Department of Labor, the agency with jurisdiction over dock worker injury cases. Appealing a denial of benefits to the U.S. Department of Labor should ideally be done with the help of a Pascagoula dock worker injury attorney so that one can focus on recovering while a professional handles all the legal technicalities.
While an injured dock worker can receive benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, the process could quickly become difficult for anyone not well versed on how the statute operates. While you recuperate, a lawyer could seek LHWCA benefits on your behalf. Contact a Pascagoula Dock Worker Accident Lawyer today to get started on your claim.